Out of blocks in 2nd gear

Hey pros, I have a small problem that needs fixing.
I’m going out of the blocks (1st and 2nd steps) very slow, the steps are poweful and long, but slow… like 2nd gear, after 2 steps i get more comfy and start running quick.

I don’t know if it’s a strength issue, I’m pretty strong and leap over 43" off the run.

It’s really hurting my times… what do i do other than just being aware of that ?


Maybe try setting your blocks a little further from the start (behind your center/centre of gravity).

John Smith’s block setup (used by most HSI guys at meets):

Distance from line to first block:

 2 footlengths (in spikes) plus width of two fingers

Distance from line to second block:

 3 footlengths plus width of 1 finger

Even though I’m 6’4" and most of the HSI guys are about 5’9", it is still very close. For me, the actual spacings are 26" to the first block and 12" from first block to second block. Smith’s settings would be only about 1 inch less in both cases.

How do you know its really hurting your times?

thanks for the block settings ! ill try em out tomorrow.

its obvious that its hurting my times, i filmed myself once and it just looks bad. no way its good for times.
ill take sum vids tomorrow !

HSI came up with this?? Oh please!
Two feet to the front foot and three to the back is what I’ve been using as the starting point before final adjustment for the last 30 years and I was taught that as an athlete when I joined a club in 1964! This is standard practice because, on average the shin is twice the length of the foot. Adjustments still need to be made to suit individual physical proportions and a 1 or 2 finger rule won’t work for all.

Are you trying to be ‘powerful and long’? If so, that is the most likely source of your problem. Remember, starting is the exact opposite of sex (quick, not hard!)

Wow, I didn’t know that ! watching Ben I thought to myself “damn hes strong” and just tried to do the same myself.

I’ll think quickness rather than power next time ! of course the step length is going down tho :slight_smile: but i guess its wroth it in the end.

Thanks very much charlie and the rest!
I think my technique improved a bit since the last time i posted a clip so i’ll take one very soon again.

Did you have a meet coming up?

the point of being strong is to make things easy. the stronger you are, the less you feel coming out.

I’ll make a note of that for the next time I have sex :cool: .

Yep… I got it now. thanks guys ! !
I have a meet in 2 weeks … I’ll just do more work this week and deload for the final week and hope for the best.

Boy! I sure hope you haven’t been practicing THAT the wrong way round for too long!!

Damn! I shoulda known I was doing something all wrong when they all looked at my funny :smiley: .

how long do you stay quick???

It’s a response to the gun and then allowing the body to move and not forcing everything. pumping the arms is key and you will make a smooth transition. once you are inder way there really isn’t anything to change. the body comes up naturally according to your acceleration capacity.

You know what, I struggle with exactly the same issues. I wouldn’t say I’m fine by my third step however, ha! My start is appaulling though, so I will all this advice on board too. My strength in terms of squats and cleans would suggest I could start better than I do. I am around 6’2 and 79kg, so I have quick long levers, so I guess I’m not a natural build for fast starting, but I do give up way too much ground at the beginning! What do you feel the focus should be on in the blocks? I know about whipping the hand up, but my back tends to collapse, so I have being trying to focus on keeping it straight and flat, as a result of talking to Dave Lease. It seems that on reaction, my first movement is like a scared cat, the back just bends!! Any pointers regarding that?

How did the meet go? Did you feel better coming out of the blocks?

it was snowing real heavy so they canceled it to tomorrow, but its a 2 hours drive to the new location… theres the state winter champs on feb 16 so ill just go there.
why go do a lame 7.4 when i cant even get out of my blocks properly. check out my other thread about pad position… i think its the problem

You do 60m outdoors? Are you doing any other events at the state champs?